Archive for blood angels

Going through the motions – a look at the 2015 Space Marines release

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2015 by krautscientist

Wait, wasn’t there a Space Marine release fairly recently? In fact, it’s already been almost two years, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Granted, the Space Marines are 40k’s most popular faction and main cash cow, but even so, it feels like we only received a new Codex a very short while ago. But here it is, nevertheless, a new book, complete with a bunch of new kits to accompany it, so who am I to argue, eh?

2015 Space Marine Release (1)
The thing is: 2013’s Space Marine release was a pretty big release all around, thoroughly revamping the standard Tactical Squad, giving us plastic Sternguard and Vanguard, introducing Centurions, grav weapons and two new, Rhino-based tank variants. Plus we got new models for a couple of generic Space Marine HQ choices. So it feels like this new release does have quite a bit to measure up to. Let’s take a look at whether or not the new kits manage to hold up — and it goes without saying that we’ll also be taking a look at the various conversion options along the way!

 

Space Marines Terminator Librarian

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The clamshell characters are often a very interesting part of each release — one need look no further than the Tech-Priest Dominus as proof. And the Space Marines receive another HQ option via this Librarian in Terminator armour.

Tell you what: I think there’s something off about the model. Something I cannot quite put my finger on. Sure enough, all the required boxes have been ticked: The model clearly reads as a Librarian, psi-staff, psychic hoods, lots of scrolls parchments and doodads — all accounted for. And the various details on the armour certainly look cool enough!

2015 Space Marine Release (4)But there’s something about the model’s design that makes it seem like the upper and lower halves don’t mesh: Maybe it’s the fact that the torso and head have a slightly squashed look about them? Maybe it’s the slightly iffy pose? Or maybe it’s just the angle of the picture? Whatever the reason may be, the model seems subtly wrong to me, almost as if the upper and lower parts of the body belong to different models and have been grafted together semi-successfully…

The good news is that I think the effect is slightly less of a problem when using the model’s alternate arm with its cool wizard pose:

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And since this arm is far more interesting visually than the tired old Stormbolter anyway, all is well with the world, right?

Well, I’m not sold on the model, to be honest: There’s the slightly strange overall feeling described above, for starters. There’s also the fact that a look at the sprue reveals that most of the model, bar the arms, is made up of two massive slabs of plastic, with very little leeway for modifications, rendering conversions beyond arm or weapon swaps pretty complicated:

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But all of this would probably be excusable, if not for the fact that the new plastic model is an inferior replacement to its predecessor and a better alternative is readily available. But all in good order!

Let’s look at the Terminator Librarian’s previous incarnation:

OOP Librarian Terminator
Now you all know that I am a huge fan of plastic models, but even I have to admit that the older Librarian model had a lot more character and dynamism going for it. It also seems less dubious anatomically. It does have the beefy look you would expect of a Terminator, but it still seems fairly plausible and natural — well, as plausible and natural as can be expected, that is…

There’s also a much better flow about the model — something that can arguably be hard to capture in multipart plastic models. But then, the new Librarian isn’t even that multipart to begin with (compare the sprue above).

What’s even worse, though, is that the Blood Angels Librarian in Terminator armour, released fairly recently, also seems like a more balanced model:

Blood Angels release 2014 (2)Granted, the BA Librarian is costs one Euro more and might require some minor conversion work to get rid of the BA iconography. That seems like a good investment, however, seeing how much better the model looks overall, and is quite a bit more flexible when it comes to conversion options (as it’s closer in construction to a standard, multipart Terminator). Back when this model was released, I was wondering whether it shouldn’t have been a generic Termie Librarian to begin with — and seeing the actual generic Termie Librarian now only enforces this notion: The BA Libby seems like the superior design, essentially rendering the new model obsolete, as long as you don’t mind some minor conversion work…

All in all, the new Terminator Librarian certainly isn’t terrible. But the model is a bit of a letdown, especially seeing how a superior plastic model is already available. I think I’ll pass on this one…

 

Space Marines Assault Squad

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The Assault Marines were possibly one of the oldest plastic Space Marine kits still in service, so it certainly makes sense to give them a facelift. The new kit carefully updates the models and adds in some new options, yet at the end of the day, it still provides us with all the neccessary parts to build five Assault Marines, either with or without jump packs.

2015 Space Marine Release (7)This means the models have to work in both running and jumping poses, which seems to be the case. What’s more, we get some nifty pieces of crumbled masonry for our jump infantry, which is pretty nice. These small basing parts seem pretty interesting and are a nice bit of service — it’s especially cool that they come as separate parts, unlike the rubble in the Raptor/Warp Talon kit that is attached to the legs. And if you don’t like them or want to build your Marines without jump packs, just leave them off and the models will look like they are running:

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Some of the poses do seem a little awkward, though (like the guy on the left in the above picture) — although, in all fairness, assembling running Marines that seem natural always takes a bit of doing and fine-tuning.

One thing I really love about the new kit is that it includes a plastic Eviscerator:

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While we are looking at that Sergeant model, however, what is the matter with that face? The brow seems a bit huge, doesn’t it? Maybe this is a conscious effort to create Space Marine faces showing the kind of gigantism alluded to in the background — but it does seem a little weird, since it has never been done before…

I really love the other bare head included with the kit, however: I could easily imagine this guy as a gladiatorial World Eater:

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All in all, the kit seems like a sensible and careful redesign, and if you should find yourself in need of some additional Assault Marines (or simpply some running legs), it seems like a sound option: You get five Assault Marines without any massive bells and whistles to speak of.

However, while having an updated kit is nice, it’s also pretty hard to get too excited about these models, because they are treading ground that has been thoroughly explored by several other kits. In fact, I would argue that almost everything this kit does, the Vanguard kit does better. And at merely two Euros more a pop, I know which kit I prefer.
Solid work, certainly, but nothing to write home about.

 

Space Marines Devastator Squad:

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While the Devastator kit has seen more updates than some of the other Space Marine infantry, the addition of a couple of new weapons (with grav weapons being the prime example) obviously neccessitated yet another update. So here we are with a new Devastator kit that gives us lots and lots of weapons options…

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Chief among these are the grav weapons, of course, but I’ll be honest: I am still not a fan of them from a visual standpoint. They seem clunky and ill-conceived, and not nearly as iconic as the other heavy weapons in the Space Marine catalogue — but maybe that’s just me being a grumpy old man there for a minute 😉

Beyond such concerns, it’s great to see that the new Devastator kit contains lots and lots of weapons (basically two each of every heavy weapon plus a bunch of combi-weapons, pistols and a full complement of CC weapons for the Sergeant). This makes the new kit very comprehensive when it comes to weapon options — and thus possibly an essential purchase.

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However, GW’s designers weren’t simply content with adding more weapons, they also added some visual touches to distinguish the Devastators from your standard Tactical Marines — basically the kind of attention sorely lacking in the new Assault Marines, if you ask me. Each of the Devastators comes with reinforced leg armour and an additional sensor array integrated into the model’s helmet:

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Both ideas are pretty cool, because they visually support the Devastators’ battlefield rule and add some identity to the models beyond the heavy weapons they are lugging around. Even so, some of these new elements seem slightly uneven in execution: The extra sensors work far better on some helmets than on others (the one on the Marine with the grav gun in the above picture looks legitimately terrible, for instance).

As for the reinforced armour, it’s a pretty nifty idea! While I would have preferred some plastic versions of older armour marks (Mk. 2 or 3 would have been ideal for Devastators, if you ask me), I can still appreciate the extra effort. And the options for customising the squad leader are actually pretty awesome:

2015 Space Marine Release (19)In fact, we get quite a few bitz and bobs for the squad that are pretty interesting: the rockets streaming smoke may be a bit hit-or-miss, but I like the inclusion of a cherub, even if the sculpt does seem a bit clunky — I wonder whether the paintjob is partly to blame for this…?

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All in all, this kit seems far more substantial than the Assault Marines, and it should be legitimately useful for Marine players both old and new. A very solid, if not exactly exciting, offering!

 

Space Marine Chapter-specific conversion kits

Now this is possibly the most interesting part of the release, at least for me: We get one conversion sprue each for the Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Ultramarines and Space Wolves — quite an interesting tool for customising champions and army commanders, and a possible return to offering conversion sets and bitz? We will see.

I do realise that many people seem fairly critical of these, seeing how they sell for 10.50 Euros a pop for a pretty small sprue of bitz. So let’s take a look at each of them in turn in order to figure out whether they are worth it:

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The Blood Angels sprue is possibly the least interesting of the bunch, seeing how most of the bitz seem to appear in one of the existing BA kits in similar shape or form. The Mephiston-style torso piece is a notable exception, but most of the other contents of the sprue are very close to the stuff we get with the Sanguinary Guard, Death Company and BA Tac Squad. So while the bitz themselves are fairly cool, there’s nothing super-exciting here. Next.

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The Dark Angels sprue suffers from a similar problem, but that’s mostly due to the fact that there are already several kits with lots and lots of DA conversion bitz in existence. The standout parts here are the mastercrafted breastplate, highly ostentatious sword and plasma pistol. The feathered helmet is a staple of DA lore but looks very clunky — I’d pick the Chapter Master helmet from the Dark Vengeance boxed set over this helmet any day of the week. Again, pretty nice, but ultimately nonessential.

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The Space Wolves have just as many dedicated plastic kits as the Blood Angels and Dark Angels, yet their conversion sprue still turns out more interesting: The sword and axe are very sweet (and seem to be channeling the look of Krom Dragongaze’s weapons). The backpack also seems similar to his and is very cool — I love the vicious look of those wolf heads. Speaking of which, I thik the wolf head helmet is probably my favourite part of the sprue: Some may think it’s too cartoony, but I love how feral it looks. It’s far less stylised than the helmet we get as part of the existing SW sprue, and I think it would work just as well for a champion of chaos. This is a pretty cool conversion kit, mostly because it manages to move beyond the bitz that are already available as part of the regular kits.

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And finally, the sprue for everybody’s favourite Do-Gooders, the Ultramarines. And you know what? This is definitely the best of the bunch! Because, for all their appearances in the background and posterboy status, the Ultramarines have never received any dedicated plastic kits, so this is our chance to finally make our Ultramarines characters look like true Ultramarines: The shoulder pads are obviously useful for that, but my favourite parts have to be the breastplate, sword and gladius combo and the knightly veteran helmet. I have never been a huge Ultramarines fan, but I really like this conversion kit because it provides something new in plastic — very cool!

All in all, the pricetag on these sprues may indeed be a bit steep, but I am prepared to call them a fairly promising experiment: If you want to use these for your whole army, you’ll be spending quite a lot of money — but that’s not the point: Each of the sprues would work perfectly for customising one or two models per army and really make them stand out — all you need are some Marine legs and bodies, and you’re golden. Which puts them at an ultimately reasonable price point below the – fairly expensive – new clamshell characters. What’s more, they certainly don’t force you to pick these up: You’ll still be getting lots and lots of leftover bitz that can work just as well from your regular kits. But as it stands, these new kits seem like a promising prospect, and it’ll be interesting to see what GW does with this approach. And I wonder whether these have anything to do with Forgeworld’s own, legion-specific upgrade packs…?

 

Bonus Content: HQ Command Tanks

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I do of course realise that this kit is a Warhammer World exclusive, but seeing how it’s certainly vanilla-Marine themed, we might as well throw it in with the rest, don’t you think? 😉

I think the boxy Space Marine tanks can use all the help they can get in order to look more interesting, and offering conversion kits to turn them into suitably ostentatious command vehicles seems like an interesting option. From my impressions, some things about the kit are pretty awesome, and some are pretty awful. Let’s start with the bad stuff: Those aquila-shaped radar dishes and the sensor array on top of the Rhino are pretty terrible. Seriously, there is such a thing as too clunky.

What I really like, however, are the alternate side panels, because they really make the vehicles look like relicts of a bygone age — ancient artifacts of the chapter that also happen to be warmachines. And I do have a bit of a thing for the Chapter Master atop the Land Raider — pretty cool!

So does this kit alone warrant a trip to Warhammer World or is it worth the hilarious prices some folks are asking on ebay? The answer to either would be no, if you ask me — although there are probably enough reasons for wanting to check out the new Warhammer World.

When all is said and done, this kit made me want to think about how to kitbash command tanks that are just as cool, but much less expensive — and I think it really wouldn’t be all that hard, given a reasonably well-stacked bitzbox. Still, it’s a cool idea, and I think one that many converters should be able to have a field day with 😉

 

Conversion options:

One of the biggest strengths of the entire Space Marine catalogue is how it provides an interlocking system of fully (or mostly) compatible kits, and the same goes for the new kits, of course: Whichever of these you pick up, you’ll always end up with more stuff for the huge Space Marine toolbox. And there’s no question that, for instance, all the extra stuff within the Devastator kit will prove hugely useful. So the release certainly provides new tools for all the (Chaos) Space Marine players out there.

I’ll be honest with you, though: No part of the release strikes me as particularly exciting or fantastic from a converter’s perspective. The things that interest me are mostly different bits and bobs: The pieces of rubble, Eviscerator and mostly bald head from the Assault Squad (because the latter would be great for a World Eaters officer). The servo-skull and cherub from the Devastators (because one can never have enough servo-skulls and cherubs in INQ28). The sword from the DA conversion set (because one can never have enough blinged out swords). And possibly the entire SW and Ultramarines conversion sprues (the SW sprue is, once again, full of cool options for World Eaters, and I just like the design of the Ultramarine bitz and the novelty of having Ultramarine parts available in plastic).

Many releases can become exciting even for those hobbyists who don’t play the army at hand. But this certainly isn’t one of those releases: It’s rather a workhorse of a release, replacing some outdated kits and tentatively offering some customisation and conversion options that might become more interesting in the future. I have always loved Space Marines, but even I cannot really get excited about the new kits — the most interesting part for me are the conversion kits, and even those are mostly interesting for what they could become for other armies or factions somewhere along the line.

 

Comparing this release to the recent AdMech extravaganza, one cannot help to see the new Space Marine kits as a disappointment, because they are ultimately just more of the same. The 2013 Space Marine release was more interesting, because we actually got something new (the Centurions, whether you like them or not), and the redesigned kits (Vanguard and Sternguard) were pretty exciting.

This time around, we mostly get small updates, which is nice. And taking an even-handed approach, we can probably call this a solid, if a little bland, bread and butter release. But in a world where the Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus have just turned the entire GW catalogue on its head, maybe solid just doesn’t cut it any longer? But then we knew AdMech would be a tough act to follow 😉

 

So what do you think? Do you feel differently about the new Space Marine kits or would you like to discuss some crazy conversion ideas of yours that I didn’t think of? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

Waste not, want not — a look at the 2014 Blood Angels release

Posted in 40k, Conversions, Pointless ramblings with tags , , , , , , , on December 22, 2014 by krautscientist

Right, before Christmas is finally upon us next week, let’s fit in one last review for this year, shall we?

Linked together with the Tyranid release by way of the Shield of Baal:Deathstorm boxed set, we get another round of Blood Angels models before the year is out. Now the Blood Angels are one of the chapters that have already seen a rather substantial (and very good) dedicated release at an earlier point, providing us, among other things, with rather gorgeous kits for the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard, respectively, plus a very versatile Dreadnought kit. The new release, therefore, serves to nicely round out the Blood Angels’ catalogue — but does it stack up to the quality of the earlier release? Let’s find out! And let us also look at all the delightful conversion options — for the last time this year! 😉

Blood Angels release 2014 (1)
The first thing that quickly becomes obvious with this release is that the various new kits make pretty heavy use of existing resources, such as the Tactical Marine kit, the Sternguard and even the Space Hulk BA Terminators, recombining and changing around elements from either to create some new toys for our Blood Angels. This “recycling” of existing assets is neither difficult to spot, nor – I would argue – such a big secret to begin with. And it doesn’t have to be a bad thing either. But while GW have been content to release slightly touched up single characters so far, this is one of the first time this happens on such a scale — with both good and bad consequences, but we’ll be getting to that in a minute. Let’s take a closer look at each of the kits in turn:

 

Blood Angels Sanguinary Priest

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Alright, this is an interesting piece, both because it’s the most original (as in “freshly sculpted”) part of this release and because it’s also the first time that we get a plastic version of the Blood Angels’ very own brand of priests/apothecaries. So what do we have here?

The model clearly takes some cues from the vintage Brother Corbulo, with certain elements (such as the face and the skull chalice) clearly resembling that character. At the same time, the design of the armour clearly calls back to the Sanguinary Guard (and, by extension, to the vintage models for Commander Dante and Captain Tycho). The addition of flowing robes (an element mostly seen on Dark Angels models so far) provides a nice and individual touch to the model, and the many trinkets dangling from his armour serve as a great reminder of his status.

One thing I really love about the model is the highly ostentatious chain sword — such a beautiful, yet menacing weapon! And though it’s hard to make out in the official pictures, the face is also a bit more interesting than your standard, unhelmeted Blood Angels head (more on those later…).

A look at the sprue reveals that it should really be easy enough to swap in all kinds of Marine parts for smaller or bigger conversions. And using the arms, the backpack or the head on different models should also be really easy:

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Space Marines seem to make for pretty good clamshell characters, since the way their armour goes together makes the resulting model stay pretty versatile, in spite of being single pose.

All in all, this guy is basically one of the high points of the release for me — and definitely the most interesting of the new kits from a converter’s perspective! Very nice!

 

Blood Angels Librarian in Terminator armour

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This model clearly takes some cues from the Librarian that came with Space Hulk (the double headed psy-axe is a dead giveaway), although I like the new model’s dynamic pose better than the really statuesque Space Hulk Librarian. The model also seems to resemble GW’s older metal/Finecast Terminator Librarian — to the point that it was initially pretty hard to decide whether this was a new model or a kitbash when the first, fuzzy pictures of this release emerged.

And again, this is an excellent character, continuing the trend of strong clamshell plastic characters for the Space Marines! It should also be reasonably easy to convert this guy with an influx of external bitz, and for all the same reasons I mentioned above:

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I only have two minor gripes with the model: One, the position of the head seems ever so slightly strange, even though it makes sense in context. But the way the model goes together means that the head is basically locked at that precise angle, unless you invest more time and create a more involved conversion.

By the same token, I realise that this guy is part of the Blood Angels release, but wouldn’t a generic Librarian have made more sense? Sure, the two or three BA icons should be easy enough to get rid of, but this makes it all the more strange that GW didn’t just release this guy as a vanilla model — he would have been quite a bit more useful that way…

All in all, it’s a pretty strong model, though.

Blood Angels Tactical Squad

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Okay, here’s where the “recycling” process I mentioned above hits full swing, because the Blood Angels Tactical Squad is basically a mashup of the recent “vanilla” tactical kit, the Sternguard kit and some Death Company and Sanguinary Guard bitz thrown in for flavour. It’s easy enough to spot a multitude of familiar bitz, so this is really pretty obvious.

Among the new parts are a few pretty nice head variants, by the look of it. I really like the helmet of the Marine on the right, for example:

Blood Angels release 2014 (10)Interestingly enough, the “BA-ification” really falls flat on some of the parts. For instance, the rebreather head was possibly one of the coolest bitz from the tactical kit, but looks pretty silly with an added BA hairdo added on top:

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In fact, can I just say that I am really not a big fan of the one Blood Angels hairstyle we get? Seriously, I see what they were going for, but that kind of hairstyle just ends up looking pretty daft when combined with a Marine’s somewhat exaggerated features — and it’s the only type of hair we get for our Blood Angels, for crying out loud. Instead of making them look like classical statures, they just seem like pampered children with that stupid hair — but maybe that’s just me.

Beyond such nitpicking, however, I think this is a rock-solid kit. Does it bring something new to the table? No, because it’s mostly a mashup of pre-existing assets. But that is actually its strong suit: It gives Blood Angels players an updated troop box with all the recent weapon options and some nice bitz thrown in for flavour and decoration. Certainly a nonessential purchase if you already have 3,000 points of Marines knocking about, but a very useful resource for starting a new army!

So, great for (new) BA players, everyone else may pass.

 

Blood Angels Assault Terminators

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As with the “vanilla” Assault Terminators, these guys come in two flavours and can be armed with either twin lightning claws or thunder hammers and storm shields. Let’s look at both variants in turn:

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I am a huge fan of Lightning Claws, but the LC Termies get the short end of the stick, if you ask me: Maybe I’ve just never realised this before, but loyalist lightning claws seem to have a way of jutting out of their gauntlets at a slightly strange angle, taking away some of the dynamism. This is especially obvious on the more dynamically posed models:

Blood Angels release 2014 (14)Just look at the model on the left: It looks like the claws should really be curved inwards, in order to better underline the model’s composition, but there they are, straight and clunky — has this been as noticeable on the generic assault Terminators as well, I wonder?

The Terminators with thunder hammer fare far better, at least in my opinion:

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There’s just something wonderfully massive and threatening about Terminators armed with the old hammer/shield combo. Plus I really like the champion, with his added armour plates and robe:

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Both variants profit from beautifully detailed armour and lots and lots of BA trinkets that really make them look like the chapter’s elite first company. It’s also very obvious that huge parts of this kit have been heavily inspired by (and reused from) the Space Hulk Terminators — just look at the small armour plates on the thunder hammer sergeant, for example. But that in itself is really a good thing, because it allows players to field Terminators that are visually on par with the truly excellent Space Hulk models without having to pay over-inflated ebay prices for the original models.

There is one substantial problem however: You pay for this opportunity by way of a serious reduction in modeling flexibility! A look at the sprue reveals that the bodies are constructed pretty much like those of snap-fit Terminators: Each Terminator’s legs and torso are one piece, with the chestplate and head also fused together. The arms and shoulder pads are separate parts — but the fact remains that these Terminators are a huge step back from the versatility we know!

Granted, if you like to build your models by the book, this shouldn’t even be such a big problem to begin with, but if you’re an avid converter and kitbasher, like me, this seems somewhat worrying, because we end up with a multi part kit that is severely less flexible than some of the kits we know and love. If this is only limited to one kit, it becomes a bit of a non-issue, since you are free to get the regular, more flexible Terminators. But one has to wonder what ramifications this may have for future releases…

 

Bonus Content: First Captain Karlaen

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During my release of the Tyranid second wave, I threw in a look at the Spawn of Cryptus, seeing how Shield of Baal: Deathstorm was basically released back to back with the new kits. So let’s do the same for the Blood Angels character from the same kit, Captain Karlaen.

At first glance, what we have here is a massive Blood Angels Captain wearing suitably ornate Terminator armour, purposefully striding forward — so far so good, right?

The problem is that Karlaen suffers from exactly the same problem as the Spawn af Cryptus, although it’s even more pronounced here:
Where the Spawn of Cryptus was a more or less straightforward “remix” of the Space Hulk Broodlord (with most of the strengths of the original model being kept intact),  Karlaen tries something a little more adventurous in that the model seemingly attempts to incorporate elements from two different sources. Just compare the picture above with this…

Blood Angels release 2014 (20)…and this:

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It looks like the model for Karlaen is a hybrid between these two Space Hulk models — and the bad news is: It’s decidedly less interesting and imposing than either of them. Now this wouldn’t be much of a problem if Karlaen were any old Termie, but he is supposed to be the Blood Angels’ first captain — their most accomplished warrior and commander,  second only to Lord Commander Dante — and he ends up looking like an okay-ish kitbash made from two superior Space Hulk models. And again with the stupid hair — sorry GW, not nearly good enough!

 

Conversion options:

It goes without saying that this release has really been tailored towards Blood Angels players first and foremost, with the amount of BA iconograpgy present really making conversions and kitbashes  beyond Blood Angels and their successor chapters slightly more complicated. That said, I still have a few simple ideas for conversions using the new kits.

  • The most obvious point is that many bitz from this release should make very nice additions to BA players’ bitzbox, allowing them to introduce even more flavour and ornamentation into their armies — and that’s always a good thing!
  • By the same token, some of the bitz should be equally useful in other Space Marine armies — I am especially thinking of stuff like heads, armour plates or cool weapons. Come to think of it, some of those swords should look pretty cool on INQ28 characters as well.
  • It should be easy enough to convert the Terminator Librarian to represent a Librarian from a different chapter — just shave off some of the iconography and you’re there. But then again, that’s why the model should have come in vanilla flavour in the first place 😉
  • The ostentatiousness of BA armour makes these kits a really good source for bitz when it comes to something as eccentric as, say, kitbashing a Legio Custodes army: So far, I’ve made ample use of BA bitz for that project, and I imagine some of the new bitz will come in handy as well, sooner or later.
  • Finally, the Sanguinary Priest has to be the most interesting part of this release when it comes to conversions: He could be used as a great base for a suitably impressive BA character — or even for a plastic Mephisto conversion? And I think he would make a pretty awesome Inquisitor with a bit of work — in fact, I’ve recently purchased the model in pursuit of exactly such a conversion, so watch this space… 😉

 

All in all, this is certainly a solid  release, even if it’s mostly useful for BA players. Where most of the other releases this year tried to bring something new to the table, this release wave for the Blood Angels mainly focuses on refining and rounding out the existing catalogue — which is an equally viable approach, I might add! But the models are looking great and the amount of bitz we can get out of the new kits should be a pretty big help to those with BA and BA successor armies.

The general direction of the release does outline one thing that does have possible ramifications for the future that are both good and a little worrying:

In the age of digital sculpting, it is obviously possible to re-use assets and, what’s more, to recombine them with other kits in order to quickly generate custom kits for different chapters — and that is certainly a great option, because it opens up the possibility for all kinds of conversions and customisations: We are already pretty close to having dedicated troop boxes for most of the first founding legions, but this becomes even more interesting when you think about Traitor Legions, Eldar Craftworlds or what have you.

On the other hand, a possible pitfall of such a way of design seems to be the threat of kits that are far less flexible: The clamshell characters are an example of this, albeit not an egregious one — it’s still fairly easy to use them for kitbashing and converting. At the same time, however, the multi part Space Marine kits have always been among the most flexible and versatile kits produced by GW, and seeing a Terminator kit that gets rid of a substantial chunk of flexibility like that does seem a little worrying — at least to a passionate kitbasher like me…

It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here, to say the least!

 

So, what’s your take on the new models? And do you have any conversion ideas of your own to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

As always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!